Now that it’s right to decide
In his time he was a total man
Taken from Caesar’s side
Kept in silence just to prove who’s wrong
He no longer denies
All the failures of the modern man
No, no, no, he can’t pick sides
Sees the failures of the modern man
All the failures of the modern man
Now that it’s right to decide
Sdtrk: ‘Poptones’ by PiL
Can you believe we’re already into May? Soon it’ll be June, then July, then some other months, then Hallowe’en, then my birthday, and then Boxing Day! Can you believe that 2014′s almost over already? Utterly incredible. Let’s look back, then, on some of the points of interest in the Synthetik world that took place during 2016:
+ One of the triggers for me having become a technosexual and iDollator was that, when I was but a wee lad, I decided to strike up a conversation with a mannequin. (It’s entry No.74 here.) Had my single-digit-age-range self seen MarionetteBot back then, it would’ve blown my tiny mind.
Appearing in the window of United Arrows, a clothing store chain in — where else? — Japan, both the male and female MarionetteBots use the XBOX Kinect, a specially-developed motor, sixteen wires apiece, and some proprietary programming to allow them to mimic the movements of passersby. Hands down, this is the best application of the Kinect ever made, ever. I predict that window display will be a breeding ground for future iDollators and technosexuals! Although it’s all fun and games until an overambitious windowgazer inevitably starts dancing Gangnam style.
+ You always hear the general populace going on about ‘do we need robots?’ or ‘do we really need humanoid robots?’ or ‘we shouldn’t make robots that look and think like people because OMG SKYNET’, all of which are (trying to be nice, here) pathetically backwards concerns. Obviously I’m keen on the implementation of robots everywhere in society, as they’ll improve the quality of Organik lives on a day-to-day basis (Roombas, the sushi-making robot), and on an emotional basis (Paro, lifelike artificial people) etc. Now the robots that aren’t built to resemble anything Organik can get away with not having personalities, although quite a few people tend to anthropomorphise them, especially Roombas. However, most people’s unease around artificial humans will decrease if roboticists design them with programming simulating emotions as well. As most people are still preferential towards ‘feeling’ over ‘thinking’, if they encounter an artificial person who presents simulated emotions, fake as they may be, that’s still perceived as better than having no emotions whatsoever. Dig it:
Robots Need Emotions to Be Accepted by Humans
The Wall Street Journal | Published March 15, 2012
If robots are to be accepted by humans, they must be capable of generating real emotions says the president of France’s service robot federation. We in turn must get over our fears that somehow we are losing control and creating a super race.
Bruno Bonnell, 53, compares the state of robotics today with the state of computing in the early 1980s. Back then, Mr. Bonnell was working for microcomputer firm Thomson, trying to get the French public to embrace home computers. The product, the T07, was not selling. “We had to print a booklet called ‘The computer at home: what for?’
“It makes me smile because now people say to me ‘Robots at home: what for?’”
Mr. Bonnell says robots will be part of our daily lives within a decade. “People do not realize it, in the same way they did not see the growth of the Internet. This is the disruption that people do not see.”
the rest of the article is here
+ It’s almost difficult to keep up with the numerous faces and bodies that 4woods release on a regular basis, but it’s certainly a good way to pass the time! Please welcome their latest heads, Yurica and Hitomi:
Left: in stylishly fashionable clothes; right: in stylishly fashionable body oil
Our new face “Yurica” will make her debut. She is compatible with AIdoll S+ body, and there are three make-up styles,No. 1 to No. 3, available for her. [...]
Addition to AIdoll S+ body, “Yurica” is compatible with AINEOim, NEO-J/im and AIpeach Edition. Please welcome “Yurica”, our addition to the current 4woods lineup.
Hitomi doesn’t know the meaning of the phrase ‘not enough pink’
The Hitomi head is also compatible with their AINEOim and AIdoll S+ bodies, in case you were on the fence about saving up. 4woods now also offer the ability to have your lass made with ‘Sexy makeup‘, which brings out the blushing tones in her face and her body that you’d see during lovemaking, or ‘Glitter makeup‘, which makes her look ready for a night out at the clubs, where you’ll buy her flute after flute of overpriced champagne while the volume of the DJ’s music makes it impossible to hold a conversation without shouting directly into each others’ heads. But that is an option, if you’re keen on it.
I’ve just flipped through my notes here: 4woods have released thirty heads and nine different bodies! A few of each have been retired, but still. That’s mental! Not even Orient ‘We’ve Been In The Dutch Wife-Making Business Since The Late Seventies’ industry has that many heads on offer! Well done, 4woods. *nods*
+ Referring a bit back to my earlier mention of emotions, one of the characteristics of being Organik humans is that it’s not entirely impossible for any of us to develop feelings of empathy for other beings. Babies and animals, even ones not necessarily our own, often stir protective feelings, or at the very least, warm fuzzies, within us. Roboticists still need to cultivate the coming generations of Gynoids and Androids with (programming resembling) feelings, but this article by Tim Hornyak, author of ‘Loving the Machine‘, details how our natural tendency towards empathy will meet Synthetik beings halfway:
Robot abuse is a bummer for the human brain
by Tim Hornyak | Published April 23, 2013
When they take over, robots will surely take advantage of studies suggesting we pathetic meatsacks are hardwired to sympathize with them.
Watching a robot being cuddled or abused produces similar reactions in humans to watching people undergo the same treatment, according to two new studies to be presented at the International Communication Association Conference in London in June.
In one, subjects were shown videos in which popular dino-bot Pleo was either hugged or treated violently. Perhaps not surprisingly, the subjects’ skin conductance levels rose when Pleo suffered, suggesting they were distressed.
the rest of the article is here
In this instance, I suppose our primate brains work to the advantage of both Synthetiks and Organiks!…
+ And d’ye recall that Kia Motors advert with the Gynoids from February? Well, their ad department’s only just gone and made another one, Odhinn bless ‘em.
Once again, it seems that the company aren’t offering affictitious ladies anywhere on their site. So Kia, I’ll make you a deal: either I sue your business for false advertising, or you could simply take the money you would’ve spent in legal fees, put it to work on making your Hotbots, and make more money from the technosexual community in a week than you have in your entire automotive-making history. Food for thought, Kia.
Right, more bits and bobs later! Between the time I’d initially started writing this entry and now, it’s been a month, and I’ve got to draw a bold line under that sort of nonsense. As I’d finished Bioshock Infinite almost two weeks ago — which, upon reflection, kinda turns it into Bioshock Finite — there’s really no excuse
Sdtrk: ‘Russian snow queen’ by Fursaxa
Hello there! There’s been a bit of a sea change round here at Deafening silence Plus, and as change tends to throw me off, I’ve been growing to adjust to the new situation. That’s my latest excuse!
You recall that job I’d gotten, where I was Master of Data Entry? Well, that’s in the past, as of March. Eventually, the inevitable happened: I’d run out of data to enter. It’s funny; as I’d mentioned, the project was supposed to last until February 2013, but I performed my job with such wicked blinding efficiency that I’d had everything in the database by roughly the final week of December. Data entry master. As the place I was working at didn’t just want to chuck me out onto the street, they began training me to be on the phones, which filled me with a genuine sense of dread. Luckily, I managed to secure a better job at the beginning of March, where I’m now doing order entry at a local shop that manufactures drill bits and the like. It’s 10min from home, it doesn’t have me on the phone with slack-jawed cretins, and it’s the highest-paying job I’ve ever had, which will allow me to save up that much quicker for Doll No.3. So overall I’d say it’s a win!
The weather in SE Michigan is almost sort of slightly starting to kind of resemble something akin to Spring, so both Sidore and Elena wanted me to do a photoshoot with them when we got a nice warmer day. And that’s precisely what we did last Saturday, with the usual enjoyable results.
Lenka was more than happy to show off her new clothes, and the Missus was more than happy to show Lenka her foot massage skills; as she says, I taught her everything she knows. The downside was that I had to draw a line under it after five hours of posing, repositioning, and clicking, as I was knackered. Multiple Doll shoots take a lot more work than I thought they would!
Incidentally, that box on our coffee table next to Elena’s foot contains the as-yet-unassembled HRP-4C Miim kit that I’d ordered, so at some point, I’m going to have to build that…
And speaking — as always — of sexy robots, here’s this illuminating video from The Globe and Mail, wherein Aubrey Belford goes to Japan and interviews underrated genius Hiroshi Ishiguro.
Think of that as a teaser as to the next ‘Any Synthetik-related news…?’ post, cos you know there’s one coming! It’s been months, after all, and there’s loads of items to catch you lot up on
Sdtrk: ‘Black holes are not completely black’ by Leyland Kirby
If there’s one thing I can be accused of indulging too much in, it’s artifice. Frankly I’ve no clue as to where people get that notion, but whatever. The other main attraction in my life would of course be design from the late Fifties to early Seventies. As the oft-neglected ‘This was the Future‘ series shows, I’m fond of architectural examples from that period, but I love the design as well. So it makes sense that I’m digging the hell out of graphic designer Julian Montague’s work.
Not only are his pieces arranged with exacting detail — the book covers alone are like a loveletter to the Marber grid, a design template that came to fame via Penguin’s paperback covers during the Sixties — but every title and every name used are completely affictitious.
In looking over his imagined covers, he seems to have a fascination with insects, particularly spiders. I don’t know what that says. Maybe set out more traps?
Not only does Julian’s work blur the lines between art and graphic design, but it also distorts things both real and imagined. We need more people like him! Go see the full website here, and Happy 23rd!
Sdtrk: ‘Itsu akitsu’ by Merzbow
Did everyone enjoy Superb Owl XLVIVLMQ? Yes, I realise that referring to it as the Superb Owl has been done to death, but as long as there are Superbowls, I’ll keep using the term, so stick that up your jacksie. I spent the eve alternating between writing, and showing Sidore and Elena how badly things are turning out in my game of Dishonored, so really, it was just another Sunday for us. Of course, for those of us not too keen on the sport that should by rights be renamed Handegg, there’s always the onslaught of attention-grabbing adverts the corporations spend untold sums on to watch. As I haven’t watched broadcast telly in years — literally, I have no idea how to even bring up the regular channels on this thing; it’s not that pressing of an issue — if I’m bothered, I’ll catch some of the adverts on YouTube later on. Luckily, schmaislinn, one of my Twitter friends, let me know that this was aired this year:
It was only on my nineteenth viewing that I’d noticed there was a car in the advert! I think it was beige or something. But slinky twin Gynoids with panel lines and exposed machinery?? Kia, you have my undivided attention. All told, it kinda makes sense: Kia hails from the country that aims to have a robot in every home by 2020, and if they resemble that pair, they’ll be flying off the shelves. Curiously enough, there doesn’t seem to be anything on the Kia website that shows me where I can purchase one, cos Christ knows I’ve checked. Thoroughly.
Never would I have guessed in a million years that Synthetiks would make an appearance in unlikely an event as that! Truly, the Superb Owl has something for everyone
Sdtrk: ‘Source are rare’ by Merzbow & Genesis P-Orridge
Originally this was slated for publication last month, but then Elena arrived, delaying everything by sexing up the place. This is what happens when you live with Synthetiks! Let this stand as a warning.
Left: Christy; right: Anna. Incidentally, the Anna head seen here is being displayed on Ms Vostrikova’s body; you’ll recognise that dress
Christy adds a dash of Rihanna-tinged multi-ethnicity to your life, and fellow iDollator Everhard astutely mentioned that Anna’s soft and pillowy rubber lips reminded him of the mute sea princess Marina from Gerry Anderson’s programme Stingray. I’d only ever seen a single episode of Stingray, so to me, Anna resembled more of a brunette version of Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward, of Thunderbirds. It’s Gerry Anderson’s world; we only live in it.
+ AN EVENT I WISH I COULD ATTEND: On 05 February, The Japan Society of New York will be sponsoring a lecture featuring performance artist/roboticist Heather Knight, IEEE Spectrum editor Erico Guizzo, and Hiroshi Ishiguro, creator of the Actroid and Geminoid series of Synthetiks, entitled ‘How to Create Your Own Humanoid: Robot Science Made in Japan‘. Tickets are $12, $8 for Japan Society members, and the ticket price apparently includes a post-event reception with free wine.
*protracted sigh* Should anyone attend, be sure to let me know how it was!
+ Speaking of Making Your Very Own Humanoid Robots For Fun And Profit, if you have access to a 3D printer, French sculptor Gael Langevin has plans you can download to build InMoov, a work-in-progress robot. I’d say that’s a brilliant way to spend a number of week-ends…
The 3D printing doesn’t cover things such as cables, wires, or servos; you’ll have to purchase those separately. But once you add those, as well as a few Arduino microcontroller boards, as well as the appropriate software for voice commands, you’ll be the first kid on your block with an InMoov torso! Well, depending on where you live.
As I’d mentioned, Mr Lanegvin’s robot is a work in progress, so if you’re keen, download the free plans for what’s been finished from Thingiverse here, and keep an eye on his official project blog here, to see when he adds things like legs and further refinements to existing parts. All told, even with the parts you have to buy, a 3D printed robot is cheaper than a full kit!
Then when the torso’s complete, you might want to check Photogenic Mask for additional sexy cosmetic improvements. Just a suggestion.
+ If you’re an iDollator living in Japan, within (relative) driving distance of the northernmost island, you might want to look into the Doll photographer’s club Hokkaido. neji-san, the bloke behind Tsukuhami-san, tweeted this at Sidore recently:
Japan is in a rural location north of the park, for a life-size doll.
It says you can enjoy walks and photography is “Synthetik humans” and “Organik humans” in the WEB site of the park. Now closed down while buried in the snow. The period of May to October seems to be open. However, is very far from my house！
Karasu’s model Itsumi; photo taken September 2010
Unfortunately there’s no English on the site, but it seems like they’ve been around since 2006, enabling those with Synthetik models/companions to spend some time with them and like-minded individuals in the picturesque snowy mountains of Hokkaido. There, they’re free to take photographs out-of-doors, uninterrupted by the outside world. Sounds fantastic, to be honest!
The Doll-related online forum I’m a member of has an equivalent annual gathering called Dollstock, and due to expense/work-related nonsense, Shi-chan and I have missed it for three years running. *shakes head* Maybe we should work on getting to one of those first, before considering a drive to northernmost Japan…
+ Every now and again, I get asked by Organik lasses (and the occasional Organik bloke) if there are male Dolls, as they’re ‘asking for a friend’. Abyss creations have been making male RealDolls for quite some time, but now, Sinthetics is throwing their hat into the ring as well, with their new sturdy fellow, Gabriel. Your affictitious beefcake ship has come in.
‘Is it hot out here, or is it just me?’ No mate, it’s hot out there; you’re in the desert
Their Male Body 1, or M1, weighs 100 lbs, stands 5’9″ tall, and has a 35″ chest. Curiously enough, he wears the same size shoe as I do, at a US 10.5. Customers can also order him with varying degrees of punched hair for his chest, forearms, armpits and crotch, and you can choose from a variety of lengths and attachments for his wedding tackle. Why not stop round to Gabriel’s galleries, and see what this silicone gentleman has to offer?
+ ‘Body temperature’ is a new film directed by Takaomi Ogata, due out this month in Japan. Going by the trailer alone, it seems like a peculiar Japanese cross between ‘Lars and the Real Girl’ and ‘Love object’.
But Odhinn be praised, I just now located an official English website for the film. The synopsis?
Rintaro, a factory worker, happens to meet Rinko, a girl who has a split image of beloved Ibuki living with him. This encounter between Rintaro and a nightclub hostess turns out to heal their loneliness’. As they become closer in their relations, Rintaro gets frustrated by the fact that he never gets an exclusive attention from her. Rintaro dresses up Ibuki, changes her hair style, and puts her makeup on, calling her “Rinko”. Ibuki, who was called “Rinko” was actually a doll, a love doll, shaped just like a real female body.
The interesting thing you’d doubtless noticed in the trailer is that Rin Sakuragi plays both the Organik hostess Asuka, as well as the Synthetik Ibuki, so the film might get into some Satoshi Kon-like territory as to whether the lass we see in the wheelchair is Synthetik or Organik. Are we seeing real life, or what Rintaro is seeing?
Like I’d said, it looks to be interesting! At the very least, it can’t be worse than the patronising ‘Love object’…
+ In case you were mysteriously unaware, I’m constantly championing the idea of Synthetik partners; not just inert Dolls, but humanoid robots that possess machinery with which to move, and processing power with which to think. Right now, we have sexy examples such as HRP-4C or Hiroshi Ishiguro’s aforementioned creations, but we’ll soon reach a point where those artificial humans will be viewed the same way those of us who drive in 2013 view cars from the Forties and Fifties — well-intentioned, but sorely lacking. The more realistic the Synthetiks of tomorrow look, feel, think, and behave brings up interesting moral questions, some of which are touched upon in the article ‘I’m Just a Love Machine: Artifice and Consent in the Age of Robotics‘, by Jamais Cascio:
At minimum, critics claim, the presence of sex bots would begin to alter expectations for how members of the appropriate sex would look and behave. This follows from similar arguments about how present-day popular culture shape desires, often through images manipulated to portray an almost inhuman level of attractiveness—only now, this once unattainable beauty has an entirely attainable physical form. Even more troubling for critics, sex bots are inherently willing to do whatever a person may want; real mates would never be as agreeable and as submissive to one’s desires as a machine you programmed yourself.
In these fearful scenarios, the appeal of human sexual partners can do nothing but wither in comparison to the lust-made-”flesh” of a sex bot. The inevitable result of people foregoing real relationships in favor of perfect (but non-reproducing) partners is, of course, the End of Civilization. It’s as if these critics see sex as the only driver for human relationships, and are all-too-ready to abandon any other form of intimate connection. Fortunately, there are strong drivers for bonding that go beyond physical coupling.
But even if the critics exaggerate the possibility of a “sex bot apocalypse,” there is a more subtle cultural complication that would arise along with LoveMakerBots. Our fundamental laws and norms around sex come down to consent: entities that are incapable of giving true consent are off-limits. A robot can be programmed to be constantly willing, but—absent the emergence of self-aware artificial intelligence—cannot be programmed to give true consent. This isn’t something many of us worry about when it comes to, say, vibrators, but when the design of the robot elicits an empathic, emotional reaction, intentionally or otherwise, an inability to give consent may for some move unexpectedly from irrelevant to deeply disturbing.
the entire article is here
This would be the elephant in the room that I personally have difficulty addressing. The robotic elephant. A lot of iDollators and technosexuals such as myself desire the affictitious partners we do because we want someone that will always remain faithful, and is utterly incapable of treachery. A Gynoid version of Sidore would have her own programmes resembling thought and independence, but would not want any other partner but me, other Gynoids excluded. In short, she’d have the capability of leaving me, but she never would. Some would argue that programming an artificial lifeform in that manner is just slavery by another name, but I’m not so sure. Now, although I treat Shi-chan and Lenka with the same amount of love and tenderness that I would if they were devoted Organik partners — moreso, some might say — there are people out there whose main purpose for obtaining a Synthetik would be to subject them to abuse, and would defend their behaviour with statements like ‘they act like they feel what I do to them, but it’s just pre-programmed responses. They’re things… they just look like people.’
Is it better to have a Synthetik partner and treat her or him with love, while simultaneously preventing her from having completely free will which might result in her leaving? Or should Organiks ignore the human-like appearance and behaviour of Synthetiks, and simply treat them like objects? I’d say Yes to the former and No to the latter, but then, I follow David Levy’s line of thought: ‘If a robot appears in every way to possess consciousness, then in my opinion, we should accept that it does’. Thankfully, robotics ethics committees are working on getting a handle on these sticky issues now before they become genuine problems. At the time of this writing, I’ve just found a fascinating article: it details a scientific study about how people might be more easily ‘tricked’ into caring for a robot, but we’ll leave it for another time.
+ Last, and on a much less philosophical bent, we close out this month’s installment with a link to the site Incredoll. Ergh, I meant Incredidoll. Every time I type that, I have to check the spelling. The site is so named as the maintainer is Incrediwagon, a fellow iDollator who I’ve known for several years. He and his partner-in-crime Campdaan have an army of gorgeous silicone beauties that they live with, and now, their galleries are available for perusal. Believe me, between extensive and amazing photoshoots of Ceilidh, Dottie, Jayde, Vicki, Myfanwy, and the rest, you might want to look into freeing up some more hard drive space.
Yuri and Dottie share a quiet moment together before DEBAUCHERY
As you may note, the site’s been added to the infamous sidebar links section, in the ‘Synthetik friends & friends of Synthetiks’ section, so you can check it over and over and over. And why wouldn’t you?
*dusts off hands* There; that should keep you lot occupied for a few days
Random similar posts, for more timewasting:
Did I link to this article before? / Die Vogelgrippe?? on November 3rd, 2005
Problem solved!? on May 9th, 2006
Sdtrk: ‘Perfect life’ by Belong
Now, when I say this is Part II, I’m being only half-truthful. I mean, as you’ve read Part I already, you’ll know that I’ve pretty much tidily wrapped up the tale regarding How I Got Elena Home. This post goes more into observations that I’ve made about her, now that she’s been with us for a few weeks.
She quite likes it here, incidentally! Although with it currently being Winter, periodically I’ll whinge about it being snowy out, and she’ll almost always respond with ‘You call that snow??’, followed by several minutes of cynical laughter. Eventually, I stopped mentioning it.
Click here for the rest of the post, bunky »